NEWARK, Del. – The Felician University men's cross-country team placed seventh out of 14 schools at the 2017 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Championship race, hosted by Goldey-Beacom College on Sunday morning at White Clay Creek State Park.
Despite graduating an all-conference runner, Felician improved one slot from its eighth-place result a year ago. Felician had also finished seventh in 2014 and 2015.
"For a young team, we can accept where we finished today," said third-year Golden Falcon head coach Rob DeCarlo Jr., who entered four freshmen and a sophomore first-year collegiate runner among his line-up. "We previewed this course at the University of Delaware Invitational back on September 16, and the time drops from then to today were considerable – about 1:17 per man. Without a true No. 1 runner, we still managed to improve a spot."
Freshman Joel Garcia (Passaic, N.J./Passaic) led Felician and placed 28th overall out of 91 entries. Garcia completed the 8,000-meter course in 28 minutes, 38 seconds. He was 48 seconds faster than any of his Golden Falcon teammates.
Freshmen Jason Argueta (Fairview, N.J./Cliffside Park) and Adam Mahabub (Bloomfield, N.J./Bloomfield) also managed the course well enough to slip into the top half of the field. Argueta was the Golden Falcons' No. 2 man for only the second time this season. He placed 35th with time of 29:26. Mahabub ran a 29:39 and finished 41st.
Also scoring for the Golden Falcons were junior co-captain Andre Francisco (Lyndhurst, N.J./Lyndhurst) (49th, 29:50), and sophomore Bryan Acevedo (Hackettstown, N.J./Hackettstown) (51st, 29:54). Not contributing to the team score, but allowed to displace scorers from other schools, were freshman Danny Driscoll (Audubon, N.J./Audubon) (54th, 30:18) and senior co-captain Fernando Gomez (Secaucus, N.J./Secaucus) (77th, 32:44).
"Jason Argueta improved by 2:21 from his first race on this course," DeCarlo said. "Danny Driscoll, although finishing outside of our scoring five, dropped 1:48 off his September run to continue his impressive rookie campaign. Joel Garcia ended his season where he began, as our No. 1, and improved 72 seconds from earlier this fall. Bryan Acevedo gave us a glimpse of his natural ability and we look forward to his development as a runner."
By CACC rules, the top 15 finishers were automatically named all-conference. It marked the first-time in the 18-year history of the Felician program that it did not claim an all-league runner.
"Our improvements may look small in the results column, but as runners, our guys have progressed quite a bit since summer training began," DeCarlo said. This program, with continued development plus another strong recruiting class for 2018, should continue to rise."
The Jefferson Rams (formerly Philadelphia University) topped Chestnut Hill College, 75-91, to capture the conference championship.
Felician is expected to compete at the NCAA Division II East Regional Championship on November 4 in Amherst, N.Y.
2017 CACC MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY AWARDS
Team Champion: Jefferson Rams
Runner of the Year: Mark Corrigan, JR, Wilmington
Rookie of the Year: George Moukas, FR, Post
Coach of the Year: Keith Jones, Wilmington
Rob Roman Memorial Team Sportsmanship Award: Goldey-Beacom College
Mark Corrigan, Wilmington
Sergei Cendo, Jefferson
Ziggy Fisher, Chestnut Hill
Milan Duka, Jefferson
George Moukas, Post
Zack Bush, Chestnut Hill
Zachary Trador, Nyack
Isaiah Curbelo, Bloomfield
Joseph Girard, Nyack
Jovan Zigic, Dominican
Hussein Elmeshad, Georgian Court
Taurai Augustin, Holy Family
James Menedez, Bloomfield
Patrick Parr, Georgian Court
Ethan Fadale, Jefferson